Colorful patterns, a fireplace update, and a new energy-efficient patio door turned a dismal den into a comfy spot for entertaining family and friends.
There were some good traditional bones in the den, but the room was plagued by dark woods, a faulty fireplace, and a door so inefficient that it iced over on the inside during cold winter months. Not ideal for cozy gatherings.
Paint treatments and character-rich furnishings play their part (see what we did here), but the addition of bright-hued patterns and updated amenities really brought this room to life.
Mixed patterns pop when placed next to neutral blocks of color: a sage green wall, a khaki sofa, and a stylized riot of florals in the area rug boasting a chocolate-malt background and pattern in tones of beige, brown, and green.
Although primarily neutral in a mix of browns, beiges and greens, the area rug’s bold pattern adds visual interest at ground level.
The scale of the patterns goes hand-in-hand with the size of the objects that wear them. Largest-scale pattern? The area rug. The recliner wears a medium-scale stripe. Decorative throw pillows sport smaller prints.
If you’ve got a piece of furniture that’s well made, simply designed, and comfortable, don’t give up on it when the colors or fabric don’t work with your refresh. Instead, make it an enduring part of your decor with an upholstery update. This recliner is on its third covering and still the favorite seat in the room. The bold stripes create a geometric foil for the equally vivid floral curtains on the patio door.
A trio of pillows share an affinity for coral, which helps them happily co-mingle on the IKEA Ektorp sofa with its khaki slipcover—the latter an absolute necessity in a den where guys eat meals and snacks while watching TV.
Decorative throw pillows share hues found in the overall color palette. They come from Target, Z Gallerie, and custom-made pieces from Duralee fabrics. Behind these pillows is a mud cloth from Mali that adds a global touch to the mix.
Perfect for reading or comfy TV-watching, a hand-woven abaca-fiber wing chair from Pier 1 sits directly in front of the patio door to take advantage of natural light. The side table next to it wears an ikat topper that matches one of the sofa pillows.
On its own, a vintage treadle sewing machine’s dark wood case and iron frame could become just a silhouette against the wall. But when paired with a hand-crocheted throw in a striped basket and topped with a variegated houseplant, it becomes decorative art.
In a corner by the patio door, two matching salon chairs sport renewed frames in glossy green and upholstery in a dainty flower and butterfly weave.
Do you lack confidence when it comes to mixing patterns? Follow these tips to partner different prints without overpowering a room.
Start with an inspiration fabric or textile such as a rug. Select a pattern you love that brings together all the hues in your color palette. Use that piece as the foundation for all other choices.
Vary the scales in your pattern mix. Choose large-, medium-, and small-scale prints to make a room design look effortlessly stylish. Use at least three patterns: one large-scale, one small-scale, and a third that is somewhere in between. Or try the 60-30-10 rule: your favorite pattern comprises 60 percent of the mix; a secondary pattern gets 30 percent; and an accent pattern grabs the remaining 10 percent.
Mix up your motifs. Bring together a assortment of florals, stripes, checks and plaids, geometrics (like the mudcloth), and figural prints (such as a pastoral toile or chinoiserie) as long as the chosen patterns share a color. Although you can choose similar looks (all florals in different scales, for example), you’ll get more appealing results if you mix contrasting patterns such as florals, stripes, and ikats.
Give it a break. Intersperse solids and neutral textures to give your eye somewhere to rest. Sculpted beige carpeting, a charcoal-gray sofa, or a sisal rug can all keep your pattern mix from becoming too busy. Distribute the solids and patterns throughout the room.
A stained brick and shiny brass fireplace with a faulty gas appliance always gave off a peculiar odor when operating so it was seldom used. Making the den look good wasn’t enough—a new fireplace finish and insert was high on the list of priorities.
The fireplace received a granite overlay from Granite Transformations. Only a quarter of an inch thick, the overlay was premeasured and templated one day and two weeks later, the finished veneer of flecked green, black, and terracotta stone was professionally applied and fitted right over the existing brick.
Now equipped with a remote-control start, the new Victory direct-vent gas fireplace insert from Vermont Castings took only an afternoon to install. Instant warmth and good looks.
Combined, the new granite surround and the fireplace insert turned an eyesore into a focal point. And a cozy one, too.
The last piece of the puzzle was a new patio door that would bring good looks and energy efficiency to the den. The old aluminum 1970s model just didn’t provide either. In fact, it screeched when opened, iced over in the winter, and had no security features.
Jeld-Wen’s Builder’s Wood Sliding Patio Door with energy-efficient glass and prairie grille with simulated divided lites was just what we were looking for.
We got Steve and Steve from Scott’s Creative Home to install the door.
Professionals like these guys remove the old door (and dispose of it, too, yay!).
Then, they make the necessary adjustments to ensure a perfect and weatherproof fit.
The new door goes in smoothly.
Security hardware is installed.
The guys install new trim inside and out.
The final touch is a new and lockable sliding screen. All told, it took the Steves three hours to remove, replace, and trim the door.
Framed by lined cotton drapes custom-made with fabric from Duralee, the new patio door offers improved energy efficiency for the den and the promise of cozier winter gatherings.
What do you think? Have makeovers of your own? We’d like to see them!
Thanks to our sponsors: Jeld-Wen, Granite Transformations, Vermont Castings, Duralee, and Shades of Light
© Caruth Studio